In response to Jackie Gaston (Your Views, Jan. 5): Statistics from the Australian Institute of Criminology, Australia's official source for crime statistics, revealed that Australia's murder rate is below the U.S. murder rate and that both Australia's and the U.S. murder rates have been going down for quite some time. Since Australia's enactment of punitive gun control laws (1999 to 2011), the murder rate per 100,000 has gone down about 30 percent. The U.S. murder rate has also gone down about 30 percent during the same period. During that time, millions of new guns were purchased by U.S. citizens. That's also the same period that the AR-15 became the best-selling hunting rifle in America.
To learn more about what's really going on, we need to look at violent crimes and the directions they're going. Between 1999 and 2011, Australia's rate of assault went up. The rate of assault in the United States dropped substantially; you're more than twice as likely to be assaulted in Australia than here. The anti-gun proponents love to talk about England also. You're about 3.5 times more likely to be assaulted in England compared to the U.S.
To say that Australia's solution has worked is ignoring the facts.
John Owens, Shawnee
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